I say the same things in person that I do online. However, I do not insist on talking politics or religion with people who aren't interested in such conversations. Also, it's probably harder to take me ill when I'm slapping you on the back and sharing my stash. Here's a sample of how I work and play with others, a visit to local radio WKWH during the Senate campaign.
You're the first Blogcritic of the Month who does a lot of political writing (and commenting). What do you think of the current state of political discourse in the country? Does the atmosphere here at BC reflect what's going on in the country as a whole?
I'd say the state of political discourse in the country is actually pretty good overall. Sure, there's a lot of foolishness and hatefulness tossed around. From an idealistic point of view of how things should be, it's not great. However, wearing my "conservative" hat, I'll look at things relative to how they could be and how they have been historically. From what I can tell, our political discourse is broader, deeper and more open than it has ever been. There is a much broader and more easily accessible range of thought available to interested people since the Internet and cable/satellite TV has taken off in the last decade or two. I know I've got hundreds of times more stuff available to me here and now than I did sitting in the same house as a teenager in 1980. Even just C-Span is pretty significant. I love watching candidate debates from other parts of the country, seeing directly what the arguments look like in a Vermont gubernatorial election, or a Louisiana senate debate.
The downside of that mostly is extra shrillness. A lot of fools will talk hateful harsh nonsense on a website under a pseudonym that they never would in the flesh. Running for Senate in 2004, I talked to thousands of people around Indiana, and never got 1% of the craziness I get on the 'net. But then maybe I'm just a magnet for crazed wingnuts. Anyway, there seem to be more people with better specific knowledge of our civic affairs than before.
You're probably the only Blogcritic who's actually run for a seat in the U.S. Senate (as a Libertarian Party candidate in 2004). What possessed you, and what did you take away from that whole experience? Are there any more political plans in your future?